My Library and Courses
Last Update: Monday July 26, 2021

Open letter: United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

More Open Letters Over the Years

8 August 2011: Andy Kessler's Five Ideas to Create Jobs!

4 August 2011:  Economists are clueless!?!  But, you're not!

2 August 2011:  We all must participate (to Barack Obama)

25 July 2011:  NYT Nick Kristof cheeky Bonuses for Billionaires

July 2011:  Economic Development Project for the 30/90

February 2011:  Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education

September 2010: Stephen Hawking and Len Mlodinow's
Grand Design: It is not as grand as they think.

March 2009:  60/60:  A Beginning for GPS-based Cities
Referred to as Priceless-Cheap Real Estate, this letter might be considered the simple beginning of a billion-dollar idea.

January 2009: President Barack H. Obama
Encourage the unemployed to start a business

October 2008: Hugh McColl, Jr., a Chairman, Bank of America on "60 Minutes" says"There is nothing good about being small."

May 2007:  New York Times Launches Small Business Video
based entirely on the Small Business School episodes

Index of a few letters by topic and author

Topic                   Focus / Author               Episode

Critics                  Internet / Gloria              Internet Basics
                          Mo's / Joseph                   Mo's

Education           College / Thomson             Favorites #1 & #2
                          HS / Coyman                     Related episode
                          HS / Bonetti                      Chocolate Crickets
                          Learn from All           

Help!                 Internet / Bernadette    Staying Power

Indexes             Index of Learning Companies

Industries          Type of Business:  Restaurants

Key Ideas           Cash Flow / Gardiner        Many
                          Compensation                  Many
                          Financials / Stickney         Related episode
                          GPS-based Cities              $0-to-$1B
                          Incubators / Shamiso
                          Podcasts / Gardiner
                          Retirement / Anderson
                          Services  (Professsional)   Many
                          Advertising, Architecture, Animation, Design
                          SWOT Analysis / Anderson           

Paths & Steps     An Idea / Jason
                         Start Up / Cope

Producers           We are all Producers

Thanks              From Cliff Prescott, Fat Towels

Editor's Note:   This is a simple  educational challenge.
Can you answer the three questions below?
Are these questions important?  Why?  Why not? -  Bruce

Mr. Arne Duncan
United States Secretary of Education
US Department of Education   
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Department of Education Building
400 Maryland Ave, SW 7W311
Washington, DC 20202     T:  202-401-3000

Dear Mr. Duncan:

There is a global educational checkpoint -- it appears to be historic and a hard stop -- and, I believe it is keeping us from opening up the next revolution within knowledge. Perhaps an analogy to Lewis Carroll's Alice and the rabbit hole is appropriate.   

I would challenge every educator to answer three simple questions to find, then open up and go down inside this rabbit hole, yet not to fantasies, but to a deeper knowing about the structure of things.  These questions kindergarten children should be able to answer easily, yet everybody fails -- our best scientists, engineers, architects, academics, and teachers of every flavor.  

I have been asking people since 1994.  That nobody had an answer surprised me.  I initially thought it was my own blind spot.  Then, that nobody had answers also challenged me; I would chastise myself,   “Maybe your making a mountain out of a rabbit hole.”   Even the one person who knew the answers, a mathematics professor at Princeton, challenged me, “Why are you so hung up on that structure?”   I was busy doing other things so decided to put it all on hold.  I did use some of the models on television and some on the web to see if it attracted any attention.

That it generated virtually no response challenged me even further.  Now, almost 20 years later, I have become more and more convinced that this is a path we all must go down.  That it has attracted very little attention can change.

Now our President Obama is an idealist.  If he wants to move his agenda forward, he’ll have to get  to the basics and change our fundamental orientation to the way we see the world and each other.  It is the failure of diplomatic policy and more.  And, I believe that it is all because we do not access a simple understanding of basic structure and it has been staring us all in the face throughout the millennium.  

So, here is the challenge:
Question 1:  What are the most basic, three-dimensional structures?
Question 2:  What structures are most-perfectly and most-simply enclosed within each?
Question 3:  What is perfectly enclosed within each of those parts?

Sounds simple.  Yet, a rabbit hole like a wormhole can be tricky.

The answers to the first two questions give the right orientation to find the rabbit hole. The third question opens the passage inside.

I would like to challenge you, the NEA president, Dennis Van Roekel, and all his members to answer the three simple questions.  I would guess that no one will be able to answer all three.  This is a major educational blind spot throughout our short history as a people. Let's open our imaginations in new ways.

Thank you.


Bruce Camber
Small Business School

PS.  I will send this as a hard copy to you and Mr. Dennis Van Roekel. After taking a short survey, you'll discover nobody knows the answers.  Dennis will discover the same.  Then, it could go out as a survey to every teacher. Unless they look it up on the web, they'll not know.  Now my work with basic structure often takes a back seat to our weekly television show that aired on PBS stations nationwide and the VOA-TV worldwide..

*   Small Business School has a sixteen-year history as a weekly, half-hour television show. On over 200 PBS stations in the USA and on several thousand stations  around the world via the Voice of America, the focus has always been on best business practices.

*    Every business owner has been recommended by their local business advocates, often the local Chamber of Commerce, and confirmed by their national trade association for their leadership, generosity of spirit, ethics, and courage.  Nobody can pay or has ever paid to be on this show.

*    Over 40 of the best-selling business textbooks published by Pearson-Prentice Hall and Thomson Learning-Cengage include these case study guides and video:

PPS.  Online answers to the questions: